Darla Neugebauer, owner of Marcy's Diner in Portland, Maine, is in hot water. It was a typical busy Saturday morning on July 18, when John and Tara Carson with their nearly 2-year-old girl came and sat down. Then the girl started to cry. After half an hour of crying, Darla (the owner) told them to please leave. The parents seemed to ignore their crying child and assume that the fellow patrons would understand. After 10 more minutes of this, Darla slammed her hands on the table and said, "THIS NEEDS TO STOP!!", directing her frustration at the girl. And the girl stopped. Tara (the mother) said, "Are you screaming at a child?!" "Yes, I am! She needs to shut up or go!" responded Darla.
The parents, with their daughter, paid the bill and left on unhappy terms. The owner was relieved that they had finally left. So that was the end of it. Nope! Tara went on Marcy's Diner's Facebook page and wrote that Darla was a "lunatic of an owner," among other degrading remarks. Darla, of course, had to respond to that, and she did in anger and with vulgarity. It has since gone viral, with people weighing in across the nation. Amazingly, most are in favor of the owner. Many said that the parents should have quieted the girl or left earlier than they did.
Should Darla have screamed at the child? No. She should have directed her frustration at the parents, not the child. The parents should have left voluntarily when the child continued to cry. I personally do not want to be in a restaurant with a child crying or throwing a fit for an extended period of time. Furthermore, I do not want to be in a church, grocery store, park, or any public place with a child crying or throwing a fit. Do you? A crying baby can be expected from time to time, but not a toddler throwing a fit. And what should you do with a crying child? Certainly the parent should attend to the child and quiet them or excuse themselves.
About 10 years ago, a good friend of ours wanted to take us all out to dinner. I had 10-11 children at the time. When we all sat down, people looked in our direction at this big family that was sitting near them. I could tell what they were thinking, since I had a baby and several young children at the time. But I knew everything would be alright. Near the end of our meal, a middle-aged gentleman, who was there with his wife, made a point to talk to me. He said that when we first sat down, he thought, "Oh no! We shouldn't have sat here." He asked his wife if they should move, but they decided to see how it went. He told me how grateful they were to sit near us and witness how a family with young children could be and should be at a restaurant. He was so happy, he had to tell me. I was so glad he did.
We don't go out often because it is a lot easier to stay home, but when we do, people come up to me all the time and make positive remarks. Many can't believe what they see. To my family and I, it's just normal. Recently, someone in our store (Zion Oasis) commented to me how blessed I was to have such nice children. She's right, but I don't have nice children by chance. I told her it's how you raise them up.
That is where spanking comes in. It's a necessary part of training up your children. I'm not talking about beating, slapping or whipping. These are wrong. Spanking should only be done in love, never anger. I have a little difficulty with spanking, because of how I was raised, but I know it is a part of parenting. Perhaps I should've spanked more often, but at least my wife and I did some.
Spanking does not result in kids becoming violent. Certainly physical abuse is wrong and could present other problems. I've witnessed parents who don't spank, pulling on their kids' arms or talking to them in an abusive way. I saw one mother with her young child, standing outside a cafe while he was throwing a fit. She was so mad but she didn't spank him; she grabbed him by both arms and shook him, yelling at him to stop. That is child abuse!
None of my children are afraid of me, but they respect me. And none of my children fight or cause trouble. I'm not saying they're perfect; they're not. But I am blessed... and it didn't come by accident or chance!